Urban Grit

Adventures around Swindon, words you never hear together, in the rain hardly sounds like a scenic location for a photo shoot. Collaborations called again with Bex and Hannah making for a colourful photoshoot, even in grey Swindon. Mermaid inspired make-up and dilapidated old trolley make for such great shoot subjects, with the help of gorgeous Hannah of course.

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Andrew and Hannah

Stormy winds and free reign around a farm was the setting of my latest shoot with Andrew and Hannah. It was hard to not get too excited with all the pretty spots and cows to assist a Country living style meets stereotypical British weather

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I will be doing a Valentine’s competition for your chance to win a couple photoshoot and all the images so keep your eyes peeled.

 

52 week project – January

As we say goodbye to gloomy January and get excited for Spring, I thought I would round up the first month with my 52 week project for the first four weeks. As I mentioned in my new year post, within my photography group we decided to attempt the lengthy 52 week project, with themes created by our photography group leader, you would need to be committed and inspired – that’s why I am thankful we have each other!

Week 1 – New Year

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An image I have already featured in my new year post. My first self portrait in over 3 years and I felt amazing. Channelling my inner Brandon Woelfel I let myself loose with the fairy lights and a timer.

Week 2 – School of Hard knocks

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I spoke a lot in 2017 about by jump back to photography and how you need to brush yourself off so I kept myself out of this one. I met this woman on my photography course back last year. She runs an emporium at a lock up in Shoreditch, it’s been passed down through three generations, it even survived through the blitz! Her grandfather, portrayed in local street art, watches on as his emporium still goes strong.

Week 3 – Yummy Yummy, in my tummy

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Don’t Wispa, Shout! It’s January, some of us have given up on our diet and others are in denial, myself included given my recent Mini Egg Binge, so it’s only right to base week 3 on a little indulgence. I had a shot in mind and I asked my stepdad to bring home one Wispa bar, 2 multi-packs and a massive food baby later and my week 3 submission was born.

Week 4 – The door way to your soul

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This was a tricky one for me and my entry may seem a little surface level, but photography is a doorway to my soul. This shot was taken this weekend with Bex and Hannah, it’s amazing what you can do on a drizzly day.

What were your new years resolutions and have you stuck to them?

Should you work for free?

Every time I go to my partner’s parent’s there’s a piece of paper on their fridge that says ‘should I work for free’? They are both Musicians in their own right, they make money from their talent and this always gets me thinking about this stigma in the creative industry.

Whether you’re a blogger, photographer or musician you would have been met with a request to work for free like “you can bring your camera along”, “It’s great experience”, “We don’t have the money but…” or “I can credit you”, the list is endless. Remarks like this is why it’s becoming increasingly difficult to create an art that people value. It begins to doubt your worth. For a creative there is so much time and work that goes into the final product, that not many people realise, the practising, the research, the editing.

I’m not saying you should never work for free. There is so much tension around not being paid, many believe it belittles your skill, puts others out of business and creates excuses for sub-standard work. Others believe that it is the only way to get exposure and experience in the industry.

For me this is a grey area, I have worked for free a very long time ago, I learned a lot and gained a lot of experience, it also brought me repeat work and a loyalty. However, as a photographer you are constantly met with “that doesn’t fit our budget” or “it’s just clicking a camera” and this is just degrading, it questions their value.

With a photoshoot you are paying for the photographers time, their skills and their product. You don’t question a Vintage Wine’s price, you appreciate the time it has matured and then the final product.

It’s important to establish the benefits to you. Be respectful to the request, but respect yourself too. How would this affect you? Would it bring you more business in the long run or allow you to progress further in an area? Also respect someones choice to work for free, it’s their time, their skill.

Have respect for creatives, they don’t work 9-5, they’re brand/skill is their life. If you’re friends with a creative, don’t expect their services for free, treat it as a surprise if they were to offer. At the end of the day you are providing the services, you have to weigh up the options that work for you.

 

 

How do you feel about working for free?

 

Macro Photography Workshop

Whether you’re a macro photographer or Instagram addict, the words macro photography are everywhere. I have to start this post by saying macro photography is more than pretty pictures of flowers. Being guilty of thinking this, macro photography never appealed to me, the idea of having to stage my shot and having nothing to bounce off is my idea of hell, it’s why portraiture is my forte. However, at our all female photographer club we decided to give it a go!

I want to continue with an apology for this late post, I have had flu so posting on Tuesday wasn’t possible. Teresa hosted our workshop – a fine art photographer based in Wiltshire, who specialises in extreme macro photography. Using old extension tubes and my nifty fifty (50mm lens) we got to work.

With close up photography, composition is key which Teresa helped us with using a mixture of beads, feathers and plants as well as a reflective background and an old kitchen tile. With that our set up was made. Manual focus was essential, and scary, I mean you never use manual focus when photographing people. But, the experience was exciting, I felt it made you appreciate the art further.

Getting up close and personal allowed me to see this created world from a new perspective. A giant bokeh mixed with reflective and distracting backgrounds  also allowed you to play with your subject even more.

What new thing do you want to try in 2018?

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2018 has Arrived

In the spirit of new year, new me and all that, I wanted to compile my goals and aspirations for 2018. 2017 was such a great year for me with my photography. I fell in love with my camera again, joined my first female photography group, organised my first editorial shoot at a launderette and helped Life of Lilly gain body confidence with my photos. What a year!

My Photography goals for 2018:

  • 52 week challenge – what it says on the tin, 52 photos for 52 weeks. I have always admired people that have the discipline to keep the 52 week or 365 projects going, you not only need to have the ideas and imagination to keep your photos fresh, you have to find the time to create and edit the images. However, the good thing I have now which I never had before is the my photography group who are all taking part, we’re in this together.
  • Build my portfolio
  • Blog consistently – Blog posts will be posted on a Tuesday weekly going forward.
  • Create more editorial pieces
  • Build a reliable model network – networking is something you always need, a great model, like a great photographer, is hard to find so once you’ve found one cherish them.
  • Be proud of what I create – confidence is key, I love what I do and this year it can only get better.
  • Love every second

My Personal goals for 2018:

  • Travel more
  • Laugh more
  • Keep pushing with my career
  • Get a tattoo 
  • Find more time for me, friends and family.

What are your goals for 2018 and beyond?

The featured image is my first photo of 2018 and self portrait in three years. Happy New Year!

Laundry Day is highly commended!

My favourite laundry day image has received a highly commended award. This is a shoot that’s meant so much to me, every time I see the photos it reminds me how much fun it was to shoot and edit, it brings a smile to my face every time! Here’s to laundry day – the only thing involving washing to make me smile!